Seeing Yourself

Let’s focus for a minute on body image. I think most of us are conditioned to view our bodies and judge them based on stereotypes of attractiveness. “My stomach looks flat, but my thighs are a little too big for my liking.”

My question is – why do we focus so much on looks and ignore the fact that our bodies are miracles? Collections of minuscule, subatomic particles that managed to combine and evolve over time to allow us to do things like breathe, think, feel, read, write, run, and even procreate.

We waste endless amounts of time focusing on visible traits that make us regard ourselves as imperfect – flawed – when in reality, the fact that your body looks and does what it does means a lot of things had to go perfectly (millions of years of evolution, conception, growth, development… the list goes on.)

I’m as guilty as anyone when it comes to judging myself. But, it’s something that I am actively working to change. When I look at myself, I try to focus on the whole human – not just the body. I see a person who has spent years finding herself. A person who had to give up the life she imaged to create one that suited her better. I see a cynical smile, an unashamedly awkward disposition and a coolly observant demeanor that hardened into place over almost two and a half decades. Yes, there’s more soft flab on her arms than there used to be, and her hair could use a conditioning mask – but those don’t define her.

I’m trying to be healthier about how I perceive myself and it seemed like something worth sharing – on the off chance it helps anyone else look in the mirror a little differently.

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